Why Your Knees Hurt When Running And What To Do About It

Although there are some people in this world who couldn’t think of anything worse than going for a run, there are countless others who find running one of the most exciting things in the world. They find that the exercise clears their head, it makes them feel alive, and it helps them keep active and live a healthy lifestyle. However, many people have to stop themselves from running too much when they start to develop knee pain. Because your knees are subjected to a huge amount of force when you run, this type of injury can leave people out of the game for weeks, months, or even years. Yet, what you might not know is that there are four different types of knee pain…

Patellar tendinitis

If you find that the space below your kneecap and your shin are feeling particularly painful, it may be that you have patellar tendinitis. This pain will normally get worse as you run, and it may even feel even more painful when you walk up and down the stairs. This is normally caused by the amount of force that your knee is subjected to when you’re running, as this puts a strain on your patellar tendon. If you have this kind of pain, stay away from running for a few weeks, and apply ice to your shins for a few days.


If you’re a runner and find that your knees hurt even when you’re not running, it may be that you have osteoarthritis. This condition causes swelling and stiffness in your knees at all times, and this is normally caused when your hyaline cartilage wears down and causes your bones to grind together. Strength training will help to build muscle around this area, but it may also be an idea to run on soft surfaces, so your knees don’t take all of the strain.

Runner’s knee

It’s not uncommon for runners to struggle with their knees, but what most people don’t realize is that a condition called runner’s knee does actually exist. If you develop this condition, you will normally feel pain underneath your kneecap that gets progressively worse when you are running. What’s happening here is that your patella moves out of alignment when you are moving it quickly, and this then irritates the cartilage underneath. To help soothe this pain, try to incorporate some strength training into your exercise routine.

Iliotibial band syndrome

If you find that running causes a huge amount of pain around the outside of your knee, it may be that you are suffering from Iliotibial band syndrome. This pain will normally subside when you stop running, but it can cause people to stop their exercise prematurely. That’s because this is caused by a tightening of the Iliotibial band – but this shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. Add some cross-training to your exercise routine, and then make sure you’re reducing your mileage and foam rolling the knee area.

If you have knee pain, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to stop running.